“I could never have imagined that, 16 years after this photograph was taken, I would be talking about Austin’s life in the past tense. My beautiful boy, filled with promise and hope, died from an accidental drug overdose when he was 20 years old. Now, all I have are fading memories and shattered dreams. Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is stealing America’s youth and is our country’s #1 social and health issue. After Austin’s death I left my career to devote my life to help bring an end to this horrific crisis.” – Jim Hood
Addiction is an insidious, “hidden” public health crisis, directly impacting over 45 million Americans. In truth, everyone knows someone who is or was afflicted by addiction. Yet, unlike every other major health issue in America, there is no comprehensive, well-funded national organization that exists to address the addiction crisis.
Something must be done…now. Addiction is the fourth most prevalent health problem in the United States, and is the third leading cause of death. Sadly, it has recently become the leading cause of preventable death – more than car accidents and homicides. Our youth are becoming involved with alcohol and other drugs at ever-younger ages, and the drugs they are using are more potent than ever. Someone – typically a young adult – dies every four minutes from alcohol or other drugs. Twenty-two million people are currently addicted in this country and another twenty-three million live in recovery. That is one in every three households in America. Yet, as a society, we have done very little to address this crisis.
It is both ironic and hopeful that there are factors that can predict a young person’s risk early in life. Addiction can be prevented. Addiction can be treated. Successful long-term recovery is a reality to be celebrated. In fact, unlike many other major health issues, no one has to die from addiction. But we are far from achieving that reality.
Facing Addiction plans to begin to shift perceptions about addiction away from a moral failing to the reality that this is a massive human rights and public health crisis. Specifically, Facing Addiction will work to significantly shift attitudes and behaviors regarding addiction and, ultimately, reduce deaths by:
- Dramatically raising awareness, empathy, outrage…and demand for solutions
- Bringing together the current leaders in addiction solutions to work collaboratively
- Focusing on evidence-based solutions for prevention, treatment, and recovery
- Improving what works, driving down costs through technology and scale
- Measuring, evaluating and continuously improving our reach and impact
- Pursuing the singular goal of better outcomes across the entire addiction landscape
Fortunately, there is hope. An extraordinary group of business, scientific, policy, medical and community leaders has emerged and joined together to create Facing Addiction.
Facing Addiction is seeking corporate, foundation and individual partners in this bold effort; visionaries who want to be part of changing the course of history for addiction. We hope you will help us in this very important mission – for our children, for our families, and for our nation.
It’s Time. Please Join The Movement
Facing Addiction CEO and Austin’s Dad